After Surgery

What to Expect During the . . .

The First Few Days: What to Expect

During Your Hospital Stay

Length of stay in the hospital will vary depending on the procedure and any health conditions that might require additional monitoring after surgery.


The average hospital stay is:

  • Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is typically a one night stay.
  • Gastric Bypass is typically a two night stay.
  • Duodenal Switch (DS) surgery is typically a two night stay.
  • Revisional Surgery, depending upon the procedure, can be either a one night or two night stay.

Soon after surgery, you will be out of bed and begin walking. Our program provides special equipment to help you get started.

Returning Home

After returning home from the hospital if you experience:

  • Extreme nausea/vomiting
  • Fever of 101.5 degrees or higher
  • Increase pain

Call the surgeons office at 1-609-407-2332 and they will guide you on the course of action that is necessary.  

Patients From Out of Town: If you live more than 50 miles from Atlantic City, we recommend staying in the Atlantic City surrounding area for about a week after leaving the hospital. The surgeon will provide a customized recovery schedule. 

Wound Care: Dermabond (a surgical glue) covers the incision and stays on for several days after surgery and will wash off on its own. If you have staples, the surgeon will remove them at your week-one post-surgical office visit.

We take special precautions to avoid surgical incision infections. However, it is possible for fluid to collect beneath the skin and become infected. Swelling, redness, tenderness or drainage can sometimes even occur weeks after the operation.

To avoid infection, keep the incisions clean by showering daily with Dial soap, patting the area dry. Do not apply any creams, ointments or lotions to the incisions unless directed by the physician. Using these products before the wounds have healed can trap bacteria into the wound. Leave the skin clean and dry.  If any dressings are applied, change them twice a day to reduce chances of an infection. If signs of an infection such as: swelling, redness, increased tenderness, or drainage occur, call the surgeon's office for instructions. Once the wound has healed, if you wish, you may begin using products to minimize scarring. 

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The First Few Weeks: What to Expect

Follow-up Office Visits

As a surgical patient, follow up with the surgeon in the following schedule:

  • One week
  • One Month
  • Three Month
  • Six Month
  • Nine Month
  • One Year Anniversary
  • Eighteen Month
  • Two Year Anniversary

 

If you are a Duodenal Switch (DS) or Gastric Bypass patient, please call the office prior to scheduling a follow up to confirm whether lab work is required. 

Dietary Guidelines

Our program dietitian will provide detailed information about the post-surgical diet and when foods may be introduced back into your life. The program dietitian and surgeon will collaborate in preparing a diet advancement schedule. 

After recently having bariatric surgery:

  • Take small bites and chew food thoroughly.
  • Keep in mind that your stomach is smaller and you will feel full with less food.
  • Don’t take longer than 20 minutes to eat. If it is taking longer, you are probably waiting too long between bites, or getting full and waiting for it to pass through to give you more room. The goal is not to finish a meal, but to understand satiety and to stop eating when full. 
  • Don’t drink liquids a half hour before or a half hour after eating. Drinking 30 minutes before a meal can cause you to be full before eating. Drinking during or 30 minutes after a meal can wash the food through the stomach pouch.

 

Everyone's diet progression is slightly different and cannot be compared to that of other patients. Pain levels, rate of weight loss and the amount of food that can be eaten will vary from patient to patient.

Weight loss surgery patients are able to return to work two to three weeks after the procedure once cleared by their surgeon. 

Click here to view & download dietary post-op documents >

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A New Way of Living

Weight loss surgery is the first step toward a healthier life. Surgery is just one component of your weight loss program. Ultimately, long-term success with bariatric surgery will depend on establishing and closely following a new pattern of lifestyle changes. The sooner lifestyle changes are adopted the more successful you will be at achieving your goal.

These lifestyle requirements are outlined in what we call “The Six Rules,” which focus on:

  • The way you eat and drink
  • How much exercise you get
  • The amount of nutrients you receive through vitamin and mineral supplements.

Learn more about “The Six Rules”.

Monitoring Your Progress

Be mindful about your weight and be aware of behavior choices. In approaching weight loss goals, it’s important to monitor weight fluctuations, as they relate to eating and exercise. If you are having difficulties in managing your weight contact the surgeon to schedule a follow up appointment for help getting back on track with weight loss goals. 

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